“Nothing ventured, nothing gained” is a quote that’s stood the test of time because it’s true.
The famous line from Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States in the 1700s, represents the attitude that if you aren’t prepared to take the occasional risk in life, you’ll never get anywhere.
It’s appropriate to remember this when considering Albury Racing Club’s decision to revert to a Thursday-Friday format for next year’s Gold Cup carnival.
The reasons for switching the opening day to a Sunday were sound in 2017 when Albury secured a heat of the rich country championships series.
The country championships heat returned to Wagga this year, but Albury retained the split days arrangement in part, club chairman Mark Cronin said, to help establish continuity so people knew what they were doing year in, year out.
Former Albury mayor Henk van de Ven and well-known Canberra trainer Barb Joseph were among those to voice their disapproval at the Sunday-Friday split earlier this year.
Cr van de Ven and Gold Cup regular Joseph said the carnival had lost its lustre with owners and trainers opting against bringing dozens of horses at a time and staying in town for consecutive days.
“You beauty,” Joseph said when told of the news yesterday.
“We usually have 30 to 40 owners go down there, but nobody went this year so we will all be back down on Wednesday and go home on the Saturday as we’ve done in the past.”
The Albury Gold Cup, which has a half-day holiday locked in for next year, is worth $180,000 and the carnival as a whole has more than $650,000 in prizemoney, trophies and bonuses.
The Gold Cup been dubbed the biggest event on the Border’s social calendar and this move should help ensure the racing on the track remains as good as the entertainment off it.
“It offers a bit of continuity and there seems to be public opinion that it is much more preferable,” club chief executive Mick Wighton said.
Albury Racing Club shouldn’t lose any admirers for having a crack at the Sunday-Friday fixture because horse racing is an industry prone to taking the odd gamble.
Sometimes a long shot pays off, sometimes it doesn’t.